Southwest Airlines Eliminates Expiration Dates on Flight Credits

Southwest Airlines Eliminates Expiration Dates on Flight Credits

Southwest Airlines aircraft approaching San Jose International Airport. (photo via Andrei Stanescu/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

Southwest Airlines announced it has eliminated expiration dates on all flight credits unexpired on or created on or after July 28.

The first-of-its-kind policy offers additional flexibility to all currently valid, existing flight credits, with no action required by customers with flight credit in the bank. The new rules also apply to any new flight credit issued.

The ability to retain invested flight credits without expiration is another enhancement in a series of upgrades underway in the passenger-Southwest relationship, which already includes enhanced Wi-Fi, in-seat power, larger overhead bins and new self-service capabilities.

“Flight credits don’t expire aligns with the boldness of a philosophy to give our customers definitive simplicity and ease in travel, just like Bags fly free, just like No change fees, just like Points don’t expire,” Southwest CEO Bob Jordan said. “They’re a first-in-our-industry combination of differentiators that only Southwest offers.”

Travelers booking with Southwest will now see a placeholder expiration date of December 31, 2040, on valid flight credits. Later this year, the carrier plans to update technology systems to remove expiration dates on credits.

“We repeatedly leaned in during the pandemic to give our customers more time to use their flight credits beyond a full year, which was our previous policy,” Southwest Vice President Tony Roach said. “Introducing this change in our policy is part of a massive effort to improve the things that are most important to our customers.”

Earlier this month, Southwest updated its flight tracker with new features, including Destination Reels, short videos about various attractions to help travelers get excited and learn more about their intended destination. The new features are currently available on 600 airplanes under the carrier; the rest will be updated later this year.

Southwest also recently announced it would add two new nonstop routes for this upcoming winter season.

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